The Ministry of Earth Sciences is in the process of acquiring aircraft for scientific research under the National Facility for Airborne Research (NFAR) programme. Aurangabad airport will be equipped with the repair and maintenance facilities for the aircraft and its scientific equipment.
The hangar will also provide facilities for calibration, maintenance and installation of various scientific instruments and space for (i) Technical Store, (ii) Workshop, (iii) Office, (iv) Seminar / Training Room, (v) Lounge
Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) is in the process of procuring a research aircraft under the NFAR programme under the 12th five year plan. A medium size twin engine turbo prop pressurised aircraft, with service ceiling limit of 30000 ft that will fly at the minimum lowest operating altitude 500 to 1000 ft over sea is being procured. The aircraft will carry a scientific payload of 900 to 1200 kg and four scientists with a range of 2500 km, with a five hour endurance limit, the aircraft will be used for all airborne atmospheric research in the country and is planned to be positioned at Aurangabad. The hangar will also provide facilities for calibration, maintenance and installation of various scientific instruments and space for (i) Technical Store, (ii) Workshop, (iii) Office, (iv) Seminar / Training Room, (v) Lounge
Depending on the research objectives, the aircraft probing operations will be conducted from different bases in India. Managed by Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, the aircraft shall be equipped with state-of-the-art sophisticated scientific instruments. All facilities for maintenance and repair of aircraft probing, development, installation, calibration and modifications of scientific instruments on board will be made available at the hangar in Aurangabad airport, in all probability.
NFAR is a very important national facility that MoES is trying to establish leading to improved forecast of rainfall required by farmers. The data collected through various missions under NFAR activity and subsequent research carried out will be beneficial to Indian Climate research program, India Meteorological Department (IMD), National Centre for Medium Range Forecasting (NCMRWF) for improving the cloud microphysical schemes in the numerical models. Other national research institutions and several universities will be benefited by getting involved in the observational programs.
Airborne measurements are extremely important for aerosol sampling, measurement of cloud properties, cloud physics, atmospheric chemistry and other scientific needs. Aircraft probing and surveillance enables the observation of upper air phenomena, especially cloud aerosol interaction. The wealth of atmospheric, aerosol and cloud microphysics data generated by aircraft probing can be used in assessing air pollution and its associated impacts, hydrological and water resources, and help enhance research infrastructure.